Her little brothers were intrusive in a quiet subtle way.
Out of fear of their father or mother, mostly their father,
or just plain not wanting to get caught,
they did things under the wire,
quietly, surreptitiously, almost phantom-like
until their sister began dating me.
Instead of chasing rabbits out among acres of sagebrush
in pickups, zigzagging along bumpy terrain,
their spotlight emerged from their basement bedroom,
long after their parents had gone to bed, tucked snugly
beneath homemade quilts, impervious to their sons’ shenanigans.
Only after we had driven up in my 1970 Chevy Impala
(or was it the 1972 Monte Carlo?), parked for mere minutes,
it began, like a burst of hail pounding hard on dry ground.
The spotlight zoomed from the basement, zigzagging along the car,
into the windows, focusing intensely on the passenger side.
Often, we would pretend they weren’t there, just ducked
down so they thought we had gone into the house.
They weren’t fooled; they were young boys who knew
the difference between someone upstairs and outside in a Chevy.
You could almost hear them, snickering like old maids
watching David Cassidy. We ignored them at first,
thinking they would go away, the spotlight would lose its power,
or their father would suddenly appear in doorway of the room.
Perhaps, though, it was for the best, kept us out of trouble,
drove us into the house into the warm confines of the living room
or the kitchen where we made cookies or just eyes at each other.
But that’s all gone, long gone; she fled off to college, then a mission,
then to Arizona, I think, married with kids and a husband.
Sometimes in the dark, I contemplate what it would had been like
if we had truly ignored the spotlights, the pressures
of others who thought it best to spotlight us, clamor about
our destiny to be together, before and after mission.
But the spotlight—hers and mine—is now focused
on other things, other lives, far away from basement windows
and prying eyes of brothers.